City-County Council approves budget, money for pothole repairs

(WISH Photo/Eric Halvorson, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Monday night, the City-County Council approved the billion dollar budget for Indianapolis. And, the members did that rather uneventfully.

Councilors were not so agreeable on the matter of paying for pothole repairs and other road improvements.

The council approved a bond issue of $70 million. Then, it said only $35 million of that can be released, initially.

Republican Aaron Freeman said, “We just borrowed $70 million and why we’re not allocating $70 million to DPW for infrastructure that any member of the public would tell you is needed makes zero sense.”

Council Democrats said the city can ask for the other $35 million when the projects are ready. They said their idea with this approach is to make sure the money is fairly divided.

Councilor Zach Adamson said, “We want to make sure that those Rebuild Indy dollars, or the Fix Our Neighborhood Now dollars, are shared among the people of this county with the priorities that are shared with the people in Marion County all over. Not just in specific districts.”

Lori Miser, head of the Department of Public Works, said if DPW had all $70 million now, it could spend the money. And she warned that delaying projects may just raise their cost to the city.

Still to be decided is the future of another pet project of Mayor Greg Ballard. In a statement after tonight’s votes, he said: “It is my sincere hope the cooperative relationship we developed during these last few months continues as we work to fully fund the Pre-K initiative that is so important to the future of our city.”

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